Former local stars Daulton Hommes (L) & Sterling Somers (R) are looking to guid Point Loma Nazarene to a D2 National Championship. PHOTOS: Trenton Hernandez - PLNU Athletics
PLNU's Hommes & Somers Chasing D2 Title
March 27, 2019
There's plenty of local rooting interest for Whatcom County hoop fans as the Elite Eight round of the NCAA Men's Basketball Division 2 tournament begins tonight at The Ford Center in Evansville, Indiana. Former Lynden stars Daulton Hommes and Sterling Somers are looking to lead Point Loma Nazarene to a national championship.
The Sea Lions, the No. 1 seed out of the West Region, play the No.1 seed out of the Southeast Region in Queens University of Charlotte The eight teams were reseeded for the quarterfinals. Point Loma (29-4) out of San Diego, is the 6 seed taking on the 3rd seeded Royals (31-4) out of North Carolina.
This is the first Point Loma program in the NCAA DII era to win a West Region title. This is the closest a Point Loma team has been to a national championship. The two local products have played key roles in leading the Sea Lions on their historic run.
Hommes was named to the NABC All American Team after earning Regional Player of the Year honors along with being named PacWest Player and Newcomer of the Year. He led the conference in scoring, averaging 22 points per game. The junior shot a conference-best .465 mark from three-point land.
After an injury plagued high school career at Lynden Christian High School, Hommes was recruited by Western Washington University and starred for the Vikings. The 6-7 forward averaged 18.1 points per game as a sophomore, earning First Team All-GNAC & Second Team D2CCA All-West Region honors. In two season with WWU he averaged15.2 points per game.
Somers was the Sea Lions' sixth man this season. He was named PacWest honorable mention. The junior came off the bench in all 28 games and shot .545 percent from the field and .450 percent from 3-point range. He averaged 7.5 ppg and 4.4 rpg.
Somers was named to the Northwest Conference first team in 2015-2016 after averaging 18.9 points and helping the Lynden Lions to a 3rd place finish at 2A state.
With three more wins to get, the Sea Lions face a tough match-up in tonight's game. Queens returns to the Elite Eight, just one year after making the national semifinals, where they lost 105-99 to Northern State. The Royals average 89.1 points per game while giving up 78.5 point per contest.
The Royals are led by senior Shaun Willett. The 6-foot 4-inch forward averages a double-double of 19.7 points and 11.6 rebounds per game. The NABC and D2CCA All-American leads the NCAA in double-doubles this season.
With 3 players averaging in double-figures, Point Loma will try to match the offensive output of the Royals. The Sea Lions average 79.8 points per contest, but it's their defense that could prove to be the big advantage. PLNU gives up just 65.4 points per game, while holding their opponents to 41% shooting from the floor and 31% from long range.
Tonight's game is scheduled to tip-off at 6:30pm Pacific (Watch here: http://tinyurl.com/y5mq6dw9). A win would send the Sea Lions to a Final Four match-up versus either No.2 West Texas A&M or No. 7 Southern Indiana on Thursday at 6:30pm Pacific. The National championship game is scheduled for Saturday at 12:00pm Pacific.
- Doug Lange